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Some Thoughts on San Francisco
by Charles Moore

I have visited San Francisco many times in the last three months. The first time since the earthquake was on April 20th, while the city was still burning. I went to arrange for the free distribution of milk among the refugees, who were thrown out of their homes by the thousand, to see if I could arrange some plan to get milk to their babies and children as the railroad supply had been largely cut off; several people, including myself, having heard that no milk was going into the city, decided that we would try to restore the railroad communication and get a regular supply of milk going into the city.

In this we succeeded and perhaps saved the lives of some children.

Another part of my work was to try to get some of the poorer class of refugees to leave the city and go into the smaller towns for a few weeks, so they could find better shelter, and where they could be better taken care of, as many of the towns had expressed their willingness to take refugees, Palo Alto having agreed to take four hundred.

Having made many trips since then to San Francisco, and having been interested in the temperance cause for many years, I observed the different moves made by the saloons, and saw to my disgust how anxious they were to go to work again on the same old grab.

I wish that every citizen on earth would remember that San Francisco, during the absence of the saloon, was the cleanest and most moral city in the entire world. This should be a lesson forever of what a grand place this world would be to live in when the saloon shall cease to exist, and I firmly believe that some time that day will come.

Temperance people throughout our entire land should honor where honor is due, to Generals Funston and Greely for keeping the saloon closed so long. But you can imagine my disgust when the famous San Francisco brand of grafters decided that the saloons were to be allowed to reopen on July 5th, and now things are getting worse every week.

One of the most conspicuous signs displayed on the streets is "Anheuser-Busch on draught 5 cts."

All of which reminds me that some brewer in St. Louis put a hundred thousand dollars into the Relief Fund, which was accompanied by many newspaper writeups and much hot air about the generosity of the giver. But I don't understand any form of generosity which would teach that one human being should take from other human beings millions of dollars through such an infamous business as the open saloon, and give back to those people this hundred thousand dollars which would be one percent of the brewery which has been wrung from the earnings of the laboring class during the past twenty or thirty years.

This may be generosity, but I prefer to make my money another way, and when I'm dead and gone, I hope that my children will look with pride on every cent I get.

There are better times for San Francisco, and they will certainly come, but it looks now that there is a certain bad element in control and that things for the good move slowly.

California Voice
Los Angeles, August 9, 1906

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